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This Week in Digital & Public Affairs: Facebook Video Ads and Data Driven Campaigns

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

In an effort to give advertisers more control over their video ad buys, Facebook is allowing the media industry’s independent measurement monitor, Media Rating Council (MRC) to audit the measurements it provides advertisers. Facebook will sell video ads based on the MRC’s viewability standard, allow more granularity in performance measurement and introduce an option for paying for ads only when users watch the video with the sound on.

With the release of Chrome 56, Google has started tagging http payment and login pages as “not secure”. HTTP Pages that collect login details or credit card numbers will be marked as non-secure pages, and the warning will eventually be used for all http pages. With over 1 billion users of Chrome, Google’s efforts will pressure website operators to at least consider enabling site-wide HTTPS.

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

On Hootsuite’s blog, Jylian Russell offers the benefits that social media in government can achieve such as its role in raising awareness, citizen engagement and crisis communications. Russell also weighs some of the challenges of using social media in government and offers some solutions for mitigating those risks.

CNN reports on the decision by the White House to expand its social media team with several new hires to assist current White House social media director Dan Scavino. Since the Inaguration, President Trump and Scavino have primarily handled social media communications, posting on President Trump’s personal and official White House social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook.

In Associations Now, social media journalist Ernie Smith offers suggestions to associations for improving their email marketing in 2017. Smith recommends new tools for consideration for sending emails on the cheap, making design less painful, and acquiring better data.

Campaigns and Elections

In Politico Magazine, Democratic direct mail consultant Dave Gold laments how data driven campaigns by Democrats have resulted in 4 straight election cycle losses for his party. Gold argues that Democrats should pay less attention to quantitative political science and focus more on creating message driven campaigns that utilize storytelling that connects with voters’ emotions.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. Want to get in depth analysis, news, and how to tips in digital and public affairs? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

This Week in Digital and Public Affairs – Cyborgs and a Congressional Digital Service

 

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

Facebook and Google announced that they would be joining forces with eight French news organizations to launch fact checking tools to root out fake news in France ahead of the country’s presidential election.  Facebook is also taking steps against fake news in Germany, where government officials have expressed concerns that false stories could influence a federal election in September.

The Washington Post reports on the growing popularity  of a variation of  Twitter “bots” called “cyborgs”. Cyborgs mix human creativity and initiative with a computer’s speed, allowing their views to gain audience while sidestepping the traditional gatekeepers of news and commentary. For example, one conservative twitter cyborg user tweets more than 1,000 times a day using “schedulers” that work through stacks of his own pre-written posts in repetitive loops. With retweets and other forms of sharing, these posts reach the feeds of millions of other accounts. One research team at Elon University in North Carolina found that “highly automated accounts” supporting President Trump — a category that includes both bots and cyborgs — out-tweeted those supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton by a ratio of 5 to 1 in the final days before the Election 2016 vote.

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

Wired reports that while the prevalence of apps like Countable and Democracy.io make it easier than ever to send electronic communication to members of Congress, not much has changed in how Congressional staff respond to these messages. Despite the dramatic increase in email communication by constituents over the years, research by Zogby found that a third of people who email Congress receive no response, and nearly half of those who did receive a response found it lacking, usually because they believed it failed to actually address their issue. According to Seamus Kraft of the OpenGov Foundation, software used by staffers to respond to email messages remains antiquated. To solve the software and technology problem, the OpenGov Foundation has proposed a “Congressional Digital Service” not unlike the White House’s United States Digital Service (USDS), which works to modernize government agency websites and technology.

Associations Now reports on how the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) service (now owned by Amazon) has decided to end its online message boards due to trolls and the consistent negative tenor of comments provided to the site. Associations Now attributes the lack of an investment by IMDb to modernize the commenting system to allow for self-moderation as one of the reasons that the quality of the message boards deteriorated. The IMDb website has over 250 million monthly users.

Campaigns and Elections

Motherboard goes into an in-depth analysis of Cambridge Analytica and its data analytics efforts in helping to elect President Trump. The article explores whether analysts for Cambridge Analytica utilized newly developed methods to derive peoples’ personality traits from their activity on Facebook and then crafted messages to persuade them to vote or not to vote in the 2016 general election.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. Want to get in depth analysis, news and how to tips in digital and public affairs? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

This Week in Digital & Public Affairs: Snapchat IPO, Facebook Live and Conservatives

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

The New York Times reports on the public S.E.C filing by Snap, the parent company of Snapchat. Snap filed confidentially to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission late last year. Making the filing public was one of the company’s final steps before it begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SNAP. In the filing, Snap disclosed that it had built a nearly $405 million advertising business in just over two years. By end of last year,  an average of 158 million people were using the app daily, with the average user opening the app more than 18 times a day according to the public filing.

AdAge does a analysis of the Snap filing pointing out key facts that every marketer should know about. AdAge points out that while Snapchat has 158 million users, growth appears to have flattened out, as it was only up from 153 million at end of September 2016. In addition, the overwhelming majority of users are 18 to 34 years old and the highest engagement on the platform is among those younger than 25. AdAge also points out Snap’s admission in the filing that it has had difficulty in securing long-term commitments from advertisers and is concerned that advertisers may take knowledge from playing on their platform and use it with their competitors.

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

State Scoop reports on a recent poll of local governments by the Public Technology Institute that found that 85% of local governments use social media to disseminate information to their constituents. However of those local governments who use social media, 88% of them do not have a specific budget for social media activities and 63% do not have an enterprise wide social media strategy for their efforts. The survey found the top three social media platforms for local government were Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Associations Now offers 5 tips for associations to optimize online fundraising. Tips include creating a compelling narrative that bring donors into the story; design an easy to use branded giving page and make your website mobile friendly; remembering end of year dates and holidays; and periodic messages to donors throughout the year.

Campaigns and Elections

Backchannel reports on how Facebook Live has become the perfect incubator for conservative media. Conservative outlets like the Daily Caller are using Facebook live to not just explain policy but take their audience behind the scenes in the new Administration. Backchannel argues that the low key nature of Facebook Live is the perfect medium for the conservative news media to reach millions. The off the cuff, unscripted nature of Facebook Live videos mirror President Trump’s style and are more authentic and believable to conservative audiences.

Mike Su, Chief Product Officer for Mitú, a Latino digital media company, writes an analysis in Medium of how through the examination of Facebook data, his company found that despite Latinos being apprehensive about the 2016 election, Hillary Clinton made little headway among them on the Facebook platform. In their study, Mitú found across all Latinos on Facebook, Hillary Clinton had just a quarter of the interest that Donald Trump had. Su credits the Trump campaign for moving quickly and efficiently to grow it base on the platform and rants about record low spending by Democrats on Hispanic outreach.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. Want to get in depth analysis, news and how to tips in digital and public affairs? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here.

Website Development Case Study: Georgia Construction Aggregate Association

The Georgia Construction Aggregate Association (GCAA) is the leading advocate for the construction aggregate industry in the state. It is a member-driven association with producer members, associate members and trucking companies. The mission of the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association is to advocate for expanded use of aggregates in the private and public sector; educate the public on the value of construction aggregates; and educate industry employees on safety, health, and environmental compliance. Over 100 million tons of aggregate is produced each year in Georgia.

The aggregate industry has a long history in Georgia, with the first commercial rock quarry coming into operation in 1925. As Georgia has grown, so has the aggregate industry, growing from 25 million tons production in 1967 to its present day production of 100 million tons. The aggregates industry is not only the foundation for highways and infrastructure construction in Georgia, but also a foundation for economic growth in the state.

With a steady improvement in the aggregates industry due to an improved economy and the passage of the Georgia General Assembly’s Transportation Funding Act of 2015, a funding measure providing dedicated, predictable and sustainable revenue for the repair and maintenance of statewide roads and bridges, a renewed optimism has pervaded the industry.

To reflect this new optimism, the leadership at the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association wanted to update its communications with a new logo, redesigned website and e-newsletter design that was mobile friendly and contained engaging content that reached their members. In addition, the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association wanted a new brand, website and e-newsletter to better harness the power of online content to recruit new associate members; publicize events and support fundraising and policy initiatives.

Arc 3 Communications worked with the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association to develop a content strategy and plan for developing a new website and e-newsletter to educate and inform association members, stakeholders, state legislators and regulators. In addition they conducted a brand ideation session and worked with GCAA leadership on the creation of a new brand and logo. Through the development of a content strategy which included an identification of key messages, audiences and tailored content, Arc 3 helped the Georgia Construction Aggregate Association launch a new brand, website and e-newsletter that reached key audiences and reflected the new optimism in the industry.

The Georgia Construction Aggregate Association’s new website has resulted in substantial growth in unique visitors and page views to the site, and its new e-newsletter has seen a dramatic increase in open rates, click through rates, referrals to the website and new subscribers. GCAA’s new logo has given the association distinction and a strong new visual identity.

Most importantly, GCAA’s new logo, website and e-newsletter has resulted in an increase in member engagement, greater awareness about the aggregate industry among key partners, state legislators and civic leaders; and more associate membership leads.

This Week in Digital and Public Affairs: Snapchat and the Trump Digital Transition

Digital and social media are transforming how government institutions, political campaigns and trade associations are communicating and marketing to their key audiences.

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

Social Media Today reports that Facebook is testing discussion topics among Facebook groups as a way to promote greater engagement. The new discussion prompts separate out topics from within the group chat, making it easier to see trending conversations and areas of interest. The new feature follows Facebook’s testing of Facebook group member application questions, which will help group admins better filter and screen their audience.

The New York Times reports how Snapchat issued new publishing guidelines for media outlets on its Discover channel. The new rules restrict publishers from posting questionable or explicit pictures that do not have news or editorial value. Snapchat also clarified guidelines that prevent publishers from including reports or links to outside websites that could be considered fake news, saying that all content must be fact-checked and accurate. The new guidelines come ahead of an initial public offering expected this spring by Snapchat’s parent company, Snap.

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

NextGov reports on what President Trump’s C-Suite tech team may look like at the White House. While it remains unclear which of the Obama administration’s tech-themed C-suite appointee positions will be replaced, the Trump Administration did announce the appointment of Gerritt Lansing, former chief digital officer at the Republican National Committee, to the role of Chief Digital Officer at the White House.

The Hill reports on President Trump banning EPA employees from posting social media updates as part of restrictions put in place during a policy review.  A similar social media ban was put in place for employees of the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Park Service. In response to the order, some administrators of the National Park Service set up an alternative twitter account @AltNatParkSer that is “Not Taxpayer Subsided” and vowed to tweet “facts” regarding climate change. Official verified twitter accounts for the Badlands National Park and the Golden Gate National Park respectively continued to tweet climate change policy information after the ban.

Associations Now reports that while associations are aggressively planning for the recruitment of millennial members, they need to start thinking about Generation Z, which will enter into the workforce for the 1st time this year. Born on or after 1995, Generation Z has unique digital consumption habits that are different from Millennials, and love Snapchat.

Campaigns and Elections

The Knight Foundation presented a report on how the major chat apps such as Snapchat, Facebook Messenger and Viber promoted civic engagement in the 2016 Election. While the 2016 Election was the first time that the major chat platforms collectively attempted to register voters and promote election coverage, Snapchat was the most active platform; encouraging users and politicians to use the platform for sharing ideas and political conversation. Led by Head of News Peter Hamby (formerly of CNN), the platform also offered extensive election coverage.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. What do you think? What are your favorite stories? We’d love to hear from you!

This Week in Digital and Public Affairs: The Facebook Journalism Project and the Trump Inauguration

FacebookDigital and social media are transforming how government institutions, political campaigns and trade associations are communicating and marketing to their key audiences.

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

Fast Company reports on recent moves by Facebook to become more of a media company, such as the announcement of the Facebook Journalism project. This move farther into the realm of professional journalism is described by Facebook as an initiative to establish stronger ties with the news industry.  To learn more about the Facebook Journalism Project go here.

Speaking of news and Facebook, Tech Crunch reports that Facebook is taking its trial of measures to combat fake news beyond the United States for the first time – rolling out the updates in Germany. The measures that Facebook has been testing in the U.S. to fight fake news include making it easier for users to report fake news by letting users click in the top right corner to report a suspect post; badging suspect content with ‘truth warnings’ and down-ranking it to make it harder for it to spread; and reducing financial incentives for spammers to create fake news as a route to generating advertising revenue by eliminating the ability for them to spoof well-known news websites. To identify fake news, Facebook is working with external fact checkers who are signatories of Poynter’s International Fact Checking Code of Principles

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

The Washington Post reported on how the presidential inauguration committee utilized social media ads to encourage Trump supporters to attend inaugural festivities. The ads on Facebook and Instagram showed a video of then President-elect Trump inviting supporters to come to The Mall on January 20th for his swearing-in.

For those not able to attend the festivities or watch them on TV, Tech Crunch outlined the many ways to stream the presidential inauguration online. Of note was YouTube’s partnership with several media outlets including NBC, CBS, Telemundo, Univision and The Washington Post to broadcast the inaugural ceremony and festivities on its platform.

The Obama Administration outlined the digital transition to the new administration on whitehouse.gov, including listing the digital assets that would remain with the White House, where to access Obama White House archival content; and ways to continue to follow and engage with President Obama, the First Lady, and other Obama White House officials after January 20th.

Soon after the swearing in of President Trump at 12:01 p.m., January 20th, the incoming Trump administration relaunched whitehouse.gov, including a new splash page for collecting email addresses and Trump’s biography. Politico reports that a major overhaul of the site is scheduled for later in the year.

Campaigns and Elections

Wired reports that the Republican National Committee’s Chief Technology Officer, Darren Bolding is moving to Cambridge Analytica as its new CTO, where he will build products for commercial and political clients. Cambridge Analytica is the data firm that helped engineer Donald Trump’s victory in the general election.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. What do you think? What are your favorite stories? We’d love to hear from you!

This Week in Digital and Public Affairs – Instagram, Snapchat and The BuzzFeed Dossier

buzzfeed-logoDigital and social media are transforming how government institutions, political campaigns and trade associations are communicating and marketing to their key audiences.

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

Facebook announced the hiring of Campbell Brown, a former NBC News correspondent and CNN prime-time host, to lead its news partnerships team. While Facebook indicated that she would not serve in a role as editor-in-chief, she would work as a liaison with news organizations so that Facebook can better meet their journalistic and business imperatives.

Snapchat announced the launch of universal search to simplify navigation on the platform. This move was clearly to ward off competition from Instagram’s Stories which has hit 150 million users.  Instagram has now offered an advertising product on Stories that has the targeting capabilities offered in Facebook.

Medium, a platform for long form content, announced it was laying off a third of its employees, mostly in sales. CEO Ev Williams stated that Medium would be renewing its focus away from an ad-driven model to one that rewards writers  “on their ability to enlighten and inform, not simply their ability to attract a few seconds of attention.”

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

On DigitalGov, Julia Jackson with the National Institutes of Health explores how social media platforms are becoming one-stop shops for information needs as the platforms become more feature rich and audience share falls away from search engines. Jackson recommends that federal agencies should refocus their attention on content created for social media in 2017 and use the platforms as one of their primary communication strategies.

In Social Media Today, Alan Rosenblatt talks about how public affairs organizations should consider self-publishing strategies to achieve their objectives. Once dismissed by professionals as less worthy than earned media, Rosneblatt argues that self publishing on your own website, blogs and social media is an effective strategy in achieving goals and can have greater impact than placing stories in the news media.

Speaking of effective, self-publishing strategies in public affairs, Associations Now reports on how the American Medical Association created a new content strategy that provided the framework for its website redesign. The new site is easy for its key stakeholders to navigate to content that is tailored to their needs.

Campaigns and Elections

Buzzfeed draws criticism for its publishing of a unverifiable secret dossier on President-elect Donald Trump and Russia. After its posting, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief, Ben Smith took to Twitter to explain how they made the decision. Smith stated that even though “there is serious reasons to doubt the allegations”, he noted that “publishing the dossier reflects how we see publishing in 2017”.

Writing in The Atlantic , staff writer, David Graham agrues that BuzzFeed sidestepped a basic principle of journalism in publishing the dossier. He argues that a reporter’s job is not simply to dump information into the public domain, but to gather information, sift through it and determine what is true and what is not.

On Federalist.com, lawyer turned writer Leslie Loftis argues that BuzzFeed’s decision to publish the dossier may lead to a defamation lawsuit. Loftis argues that BuzzFeed Editor in Chief Ben Smith’s rationale for publishing was the same rationale Rolling Stone’s Will Dana used to justify publishing a fake story that ended in a major court loss in Eramo v Rolling Stone. 

On a side note, Nieman Labs reports on the success of BuzzFeed’s Tasty customized cookbook product which has sold enough copies to make it one of the best-selling cookbooks of the year. Tasty: The Cookbook, a choose-your-own categories, print-on-demand cookbook,  sold over 100,000 copies in the last two months of 2016, earning BuzzFeed an estimated $2.4 to $4 million in sales.

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. What do you think? What are your favorite stories? We’d love to hear from you!

Social Media Marketing Internship – Spring 2017

FacebookSocialMediaArc 3 Communications, an Atlanta based agency specializing in content, digital marketing and analytics for clients in politics, public affairs and government is seeking an intern in the area of social media marketing.

Arc 3 is looking for an intern that would like to further their experience in social media marketing and implementation in the political, public affairs and government space. Desired skills include knowledge of content creation, social media management and analytics tools. Knowledge of design tools such as Photoshop, Canva, Pic Monkey and Google Drawings is a plus. Internship would be part-time or full time; virtually or at our office.

Applicants must be a current college undergraduate or graduate student. Academic credit can be arranged for internship.

We are a startup with a bold vision. If you are looking to gain professional experience in politics and public affairs while learning innovative ways to use social media, please contact our Founder, Patrick Burns at pburns@rare-light.flywheelsites.com.

Social Media Marketing Internship Opportunity – Fall 2016

instagram_app_androidArc 3 Communications, an Atlanta based agency specializing in content, digital marketing and analytics for clients in politics, public affairs and government is seeking an intern in the area of social media marketing.

Arc 3 is looking for an intern that would like to further their experience in social media marketing and implementation in the political, public affairs and government space. Desired skills include knowledge of content creation, social media management and analytics tools. Knowledge of design tools such as Photoshop, Canva, Pic Monkey and Google Drawings is a plus. Internship would be part-time or full time; virtually or at our co-working space. We’ll provide free coffee and a neat working space.

Applicants must be a current college undergraduate or graduate student. Academic credit can be arranged for internship.

We are a startup with a bold vision. If you are looking to gain professional experience in politics and public affairs while learning innovative ways to use social media, please contact our Founder, Patrick Burns at pburns@rare-light.flywheelsites.com.

 

This Week in Digital and Public Affairs: The 2016 Olympics, BuzzFeed and Ad Blocking

buzzfeed-logoDigital and social media are transforming how government institutions, political campaigns and trade associations are communicating and marketing to their key audiences.

Below is a roundup of key stories in digital and public affairs for this week:

Content, Digital and Social Media

Digiday reports on how The New York Times’ T Brand Studio which was born two years ago to assist clients in the creation of native advertising  (sponsored ads and content that look like actual stories in NYT) is now expanding into a full fledged agency. T Brand Studio will now assist clients in the creation of multi-media, stories and content that can be placed in publications beyond The New York Times. In pitching its new services, the Times will be competing not just with established agencies, but other publishers that are also producing content for clients such as Atlantic Media Strategies, started by Atlantic Media, publisher of news magazines such as the The National Journal.

Ad Week rants about the many ways that businesses and brands can get in trouble posting on social media regarding the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. For those businesses that are not official sponsors of the games like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Visa or P&G, posting on social media regarding the Olympic Games runs legal risks. The many restrictions issued by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) include prohibition against non-sponsors using the Olympics’ trademarked words or phrases such as Olympic, Olympian, Team USA, Go for the Gold; using terms that reference the location of the Olympics, such as the Road to Rio; and using hashtags that include Olympics trademarks such as #TeamUSA or #Rio2016. Non-sponsors are also prohibited from sharing or retweeting content from official Olympics social media accounts.

Gov 2.0 and Public Affairs

The Las Vegas Sun reports on how Las Vegas area governments and authorities such as the City of Las Vegas, Clark County and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority are turning to social media to modernize their communications and engage with citizens. The City of Las Vegas has a social media team of 4 staff members and is present on nine different social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Next Door and Google Plus to promote citizen engagement. Speaking of Snapchat, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority recently tapped hip hop star DJ Khaled to launch its new Snapchat account. The authority’s Snapchat launch generated more than 400,000 views and 25,000 engagements in a 48-hour period thanks to DJ Khaled.

In Associations Now, Ernie Smith reviews a report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau that found that a quarter of all internet users already block ads, which is less than anticipated.  The majority of users who block ads are adult males from 18 to 34. While ad blocking on desktop computers is at 26%, ad blocking on mobile devices is lower at 15%. The IAB has been focused on combating ad blocking over the years, and is recommending that advertisers promote lighter non-invasive ads. The study found that lighter non-invasive ads online encourage ad blockers to turn off their ad blocking software. One interesting note from the study: 40% of internet users believed that they had ad blocking software turned on, but many of the users confused anti-virus and pop-up blockers with ad blocking software.

Campaigns and Elections

Business Insider reports on BuzzFeed Editor-In-Chief Ben Smith sending a memo to the outlet’s news staff to refrain from taking “partisan stands” on social media. The memo was written after a BuzzFeed reporter posted a pair of now-deleted partisan tweets to her account during a video that played before President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. BuzzFeed’s ethics guide states that “reporters and editors should refrain from commenting in a partisan way about candidates or policy issues.” After acknowledging the unusual nature of this year’s Presidential election, Smith stated in his memo: “I’m writing to remind you about our policy on not taking partisan stands on social media, or in our coverage, for either side. You have colleagues covering this race intensely and an audience who should trust that you, and we, are as fair and accurate as you know we strive to be.”

These are some of the reads that matter to us for the week in digital and public affairs. What do you think? What are your favorite stories? We’d love to hear from you!